Video - Announcement of the Selected Design for the Stained Glass Window
The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, unveils artwork commemorating the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. Métis artist Christi Belcourt's artwork will be transformed into stained glass and installed in Centre Block on Parliament Hill.
Transcript: Announcement of the Selected Design for the Stained Glass Window
Ladies and gentlemen, today marks the fourth anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's historic Apology to former students of Indian residential schools.
Joined by former students, and Aboriginal leaders, the Prime Minister formally apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada for the abuses experienced by many Aboriginal children and the effect it had on them, their families and communities.
The Apology underlined Canadians' resolve to learn from these tragic events to ensure they will never be repeated and established the foundation for a new relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians based on knowledge of the past, mutual respect for each other and a desire to move forward together in partnership.
Canadians visiting Parliament Hill will soon be able to see one of Canada's gestures of reconciliation – a lasting memorial to commemorate the legacy of Indian residential schools and the historic Apology. A stained glass window is being permanently installed in the Centre Block to honour the First Nations, Inuit and Métis children who attended Indian residential schools and the families and communities who were affected by the schools' legacy.
It will encourage visitors to Parliament Hill to learn about the history of Indian residential schools and Canada's reconciliation efforts. The stained glass window will be a visible reminder of the residential schools legacy, it will also be window demonstrating the future relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, one that is founded on the principles of reconciliation and respect.
A five member selection committee, comprised of leading Aboriginal art experts and former Indian residential school students, representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis, was given the task of recommending the design for the stained glass window.
On behalf of the Harper Government, it is my great pleasure and honour to announce that the artwork submitted by Métis artist, Christi Belcourt, has been chosen. Her deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of Aboriginal people is evident in this magnificent work. So congratulations, Ms. Belcourt.
I also want to thank the Speaker of the House of Commons whose support for this initiative ensures that Ms. Belcourt's work will be transformed into a work of art to be installed in a prominent location above the entrance to the foyer of the House of Commons in Center Block, for generations of visitors to experience.
It will be a beautiful and powerful reminder of the lessons learned from the residential schools experience. It will also be an enduring symbol of Canadians' efforts to make amends and achieve reconciliation with Aboriginal people.
Merci, Thank you, Miigwetch.
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